Tag Archive | hand-spinning

Fibre-East Festival, 27th July 2014.


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These delightful black piggies were part of my day last Sunday, when Larry and I went to the Fibre-East Festival at Redborne Upper School in Ampthill. There is a farm on the school where the pupils can learn animal husbandry. The animals were extremely well kept and happy and the pig-house even had piped music installed to keep the pigs entertained.

 

There was a farm shop, where I bought some fresh eggs and some honey and in the freezer there were all sorts of home produced meats.

Here are some pictures of the fibre festival itself. Larry and I had a wonderful time looking around and it has inspired him to take up weaving!

There was have-a-go spinning for beginners:

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There were weaving looms galore.

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Lots and lots of yarn. Here I am checking out some wonderful, purple art yarn.

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Bales of roving in all natural colours and livid ones too.

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Hand-made drum carders:

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I was interested in those but they were very expensive.

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Just look at these gorgeous colours:

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and of course there were sheep!

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and a sheep shearing demonstration:

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and the fleece was for sale too. I didn’t buy one. I am still working on the one I’ve got!

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Have a great weekend, whatever you do!

Oma

 

The Polworth Fleece


 

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The Polworth fleece, which I acquired recently, was quite dirty so it needed a good wash. It’s amazing how much dirt came out of that fleece during the three washes I gave it.  It’s important to use hot water for washing and not to agitate the wool. The results were good.

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My husband very kindly made me a lovely drying rack so I could dry the fleece in the garden in the sunshine.

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Next I needed to card the fleece and that is a work in progress. I was anxious to try spinning it to make sure I was carding it properly and after a few goes I think I’ve got the hang of it. I’ll leave that to a future post.  Suffice to say that I will probably have enough to make a pretty shawl so now I’m looking around for patterns.

Have a lovely day in the sunshine if you can.

Oma

 

The fleece(s) has arrived.


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I have now received the fleece(s) I was promised and there are some of different types. The Polworth looked the dirtiest so I have started with that one. Picture above showed how it arrived.

 

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

 

  P0lwarth is a breed of sheep that was developed in Victoria (Australia) during 1880. They were of one-quarter Lincoln and three-quarters Merinobloodlines. They are large, predominantly polled sheep with long, soft, quite fine wool and produce good meat carcases. They were developed in an attempt to extend the grazing territory of sheep because the Merino was found lacking in hardiness in this respect.[1] A dual-purpose (meat and wool) breed with a major emphasis on wool production.[2]

Characteristics

Mature ewes weigh 50 to 60 kg (110 to 130 lb) and mature rams weigh 66 to 80 kg (146 to 176 lb). Ewes are excellent prime lamb mothers producing lambs that have good lean carcases. The high yielding fleeces weigh an average six to seven kilograms, with a fibre diameter of 23 to 25 microns[3] (58–60s).[2][4][5]

The Polwarth Sheepbreeders’ Association of Australia was formed in 1918 and the studbook closed in 1948.

Polwarths are now mostly found in the higher rainfall regions of south-eastern Australia that have improved pastures. Polwarths have been exported into many countries, including South America where they are known as Ideals.[5]

Polworth sheep Polworth Sheep

First I washed it, three times. Then after a thorough rinse, I put it out in the sunshine to dry.

 

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Larry bought me some carding combs so I could stroke the fleece into submission!

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It’s important to keep one comb for the left hand and the other for the right. So I marked them to make sure I didn’t get them mixed up.

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When the fleece was washed, dried and combed, it looked like this. I have stored it and can’t wait to try spinning with it soon. It looks like a cloud of happiness to me 🙂

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I’ll come back and show you as soon as I start spinning.

Oma

Spinning and Knitting Project finished.


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The above four yarns were spun by me during the last year.  Question was: what to do with them when they are finished? Answer: find a pattern that you like and adapt it.  Easier said than done.

Then I saw this pattern in an old ‘People’s Friend’ magazine. I thought it would be just right. It was just right for someone short-waisted, like me, and lots of opportunities for using more than one colourway.

My spun-off merino knits up like Aran so knitting with 5mm (u.k. needles) I began.

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…and here is the finished result. I’m pleased with it.  It’s not at all itchy and very comfortable to wear.

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The colour panel at the back breaks up the vast expanse of lavender yarn and compliments the front panels.

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I like the way it sticks out at the front.

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Now on to my next project, but first I need to make something with the left-over yarn from this one. Any ideas?

 

Oma

 

A new skein of yarn.


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I’ve been working on some lovely, soft merino topping in a beautiful lavender shade. I had some darker shade left over from the previous spinning so I’ve combined the two into this lovely colourway.

The next spinning will be the lavender on its own with the idea of making something which starts with the two colours and ends with the one.  Should be fun, shouldn’t it! You can see the plain lavender in the next picture.

DSCF1620It’s a lovely way of spending the long, dark November evenings. It’s actually quite soporific and while I’m spinning, I go into a sort of trance, which I find very relaxing. I suppose it is my brain going into beta waves, hard to do without a trigger, but really easy once I start spinning…

Jane Austen Knits – Capelet project finished!


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Remember this project? Well, it’s now finished and keeping me warm. Here’s another picture from the magazine:

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The second picture shows the shoulder joining, which is tied with a pretty ribbon. However, I wasn’t too sure about that ribbon, so on my version, I plaited some of the yarn I had spun previously, like this:

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I think it looks a lot more natural.

You can read about how the wool was spun here and then here

So the lacy top is mohair in a gorgeous orange colour, but I crocheted instead of knitted. It’s so warm…

This is the back:

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I added a bead feature at the corner:

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All in all, I’m very pleased with it 🙂

Oma

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Hand-spun, ecru merino wool sweater – finished at last.


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Well I did say I would post on the sweater I just finished, so here it is. Sorry I’m not smiling in the picture. I did smile but J took the picture before the smile materialised and beggars can’t be choosers!

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Here is a reminder of where I was with it about 3 weeks ago. The weather has been so awful that I got a move on to finish it so I could wear it, despite the fact that we are nearly into June!

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Originally I bought a kilo of the ecru merino wool and spun it up. I didn’t know if I’d have enough and I didn’t. I had to buy a little to finish the top of the sweater. Consequently I may dye the sweater at a later stage just to make sure the colour is consistent. On the other hand if I do that and mess it up, it will be worse than if I leave it be. Decisions, decisions.

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So that project is finished. I enjoyed spinning the wool and knitting up the sweater and now I am free to start something new, which is always a good place to be. I can wear the sweater while I’m working on the next project or finishing two that I’ve already started, namely a lace-weight knitted shawl and a crocheted blanket for one of the beds. The blanket is almost finished and the shawl is about half way through.

More of those in a future post.

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Oma